Wednesday, April 29, 2015
Tuesday, April 28, 2015
|The mystery of the poor is this: That they are Jesus, and what you do for them you do for him. It is the only way we have of knowing and believing in our love. The mystery of poverty is that by sharing in it, making ourselves poor in giving to others, we increase our knowledge of and belief in love.|
Source: Dorothy Day: Selected Writings
Monday, April 27, 2015
Sunday, April 26, 2015
Thursday, April 23, 2015
Christoph Friedrich Blumhardt
Wednesday, April 22, 2015
Tuesday, April 21, 2015
Our Sister gardeners love the earth and tend it well after the example of Francis and Clare
It is our Franciscan Tradition to love all of creation after our patrons Saints Francis and Clare.
Saint Francis of Assisi rejoiced in all
the works of the Lord's Hands.
In beautiful things he intuited Beauty itself.
Francis savored in each and every creature
----the goodness given them by God. (St. Bonaventure's Major Work of St. Francis)
Clare considered herself the Little Plant of Francis
and followed his love for creation.
Monday, April 20, 2015
Meister Eckhart says, " Every creature is a Word of God".
and N.T.Wright says in his new book "Surprised by Scripture,
" The resurrection of Jesus is the reaffirmation of the goodness of creation, and the gift of the Spirit is there to make us the fully human beings we were supposed to be precisely so that we can fulfill that madate at last. What are we waiting for?
Jesus is coming.
Let's go plant a Tree.
Wednesday, April 15, 2015
Tuesday, April 14, 2015
Jakarta, 14 April 2015
A Christian Pilgrimage
Monday, April 13, 2015
|by Mark Pattison|
By Mark Pattison
AMMAN, Jordan -- When I was a student at the old Institute for Pastoral Liturgical Ministries operated by the Archdiocese of Detroit, one priest who taught a class looked askance at the practice of some Catholics to memorize the Mass schedules of nearby churches, then drive to each church and stay for the priest's words of institution during the Eucharistic Prayer, at which point the bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Christ, then scoot off to the next church to do the same, and repeat the process all Sunday. He dismissed their staying only for what he called "the gaze that saves."
I hadn't thought about that in years and years until I was on my way to Jordan to participate in a tour of holy and sacred biblical sites in the nation. Another trip participant had said before he left, "I'll get to celebrate Easter twice this year!" This year, Eastern Catholic churches and churches in the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem -- which includes Jordan -- began celebrating Easter with the Orthodox, according to the Julian calendar.
I could see the participant's point if one were ordained clergy or a liturgical minister who got the chance to "go civilian" and take in Easter as a member of the assembly. But I had argued to myself, wasn't the 8 a.m. Mass I went to on Easter Sunday enough? And that reminded me of a second priest whose name I can't remember who once said, "Every Sunday isn't a 'little Easter.' Easter is a big Sunday!"
But our schedule dictated a visit to a Melkite Catholic church in Amman, Jordan's capital and largest city, for the Easter Vigil. So I kept my consternation to myself and hopped in the van with everyone else.
The church was packed. My estimate is that the small church, even with extra chairs along the sides and in the front, held a standing-room-only crowd of 350.
I had gone to a Melkite Divine Liturgy last June while on assignment for Catholic News Service, but hardly an Easter Vigil. It was comforting to hear the melody of the Exultet, albeit in Arabic. I started in the back of the church, then worked my way to a comfortable leaning position against a side wall of the church halfway in so I could take better photos. After about 10 minutes, one of the clerics invited me and several of my tour companions to take seats in the front. What great luck!
We were there another 10 minutes or so when a representative of the Jordan Tourism Board whispered to us that we all had to leave. What? Why? What had we done? Had we violated some protocol -- maybe using flash photography? If so, why were we invited to sit in front in the first place? I definitely had more questions than answers.
It turns out we were in the wrong church!
This had been a Latin-rite church where the van driver had taken us. That could account for the Exultet.
The Melkite Church of Sts. Peter and Paul was three minutes away by car. We got there late as well, it goes without saying. The church was also standing-room only, but far smaller than our first church that night; I estimate fewer than 100 were there, including us.
It was comforting, though, to see that the small-C catholic part of the Catholic Church held true regardless of rite: People don't like to sit in the front pew! Here, too, there were empty seats right up front, and we were guided to them.
A Melkite liturgy is almost entirely sung and is quite dynamic: There is always motion or something going on, sometimes more than one thing at the same time. Also celebrated entirely in Arabic except for the Kyrie I heard midway through, this liturgy was beautiful in its own way. Latin-rite Catholics owe it to themselves to take in a Divine Liturgy at least once in their life.
If you ask me if I have any regrets, I'd say my only regret is not being able to take part in a Sunday morning Chaldean-rite Easter Mass in Amman.
- - -
I will blog from time to time about things I've encountered on my Jordan journey. Also, look me up on Twitter at @MeMarkPattison for Jordan-related tweets. Others on this tour will use the same Hashtags: #holyjordan.
April 13 - Monday From Oswald Chambers Gospel for today- Unless you are born again. and thoughts from Oswald Chambers
Sunday, April 12, 2015
|I cannot help wondering |
whether in these days when so large a proportion of humanity is submerged in materialism, God does not want there to be some men and women who have given themselves to him and to Christ and who yet remain outside the church. What frightens me is the church as a social structure. And not only on account of its blemishes. Insofar as the church is merely a social structure, it belongs to the prince of this world... I do not want to be adopted into another circle, another human milieu. I want nothing else but obedience – even unto the cross. That is the true haven, as you know: the cross.
Source: Waiting for God
Simone Weil was a Jewish person who was drawn to the Catholic Church but never entered it.
She loved it from afar.
Saturday, April 11, 2015
|by Cindy Wooden|
VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis formally presented his official proclamation of the 2015-2016 extraordinary jubilee or Holy Year of Mercy this evening before celebrating vespers in St. Peter’s Basilica.
The proclamation, called a “bull of indiction,” is titled “Misericordiae Vultus” (“The Face of Mercy”) and explains how in Jesus Christ, in his words and actions, the mercy of God has been revealed.
Pope Francis said in the document that he wants the year, which will begin Dec. 8, to be a time for Catholics to contemplate just how merciful God has been to them and to understand better how they are called to be merciful to others in turn.
Mercy, the pope wrote, is “the beating heart of the Gospel.”
“How much I desire that the year to come will be steeped in mercy, so that we can go out to every man and woman, bringing the goodness and tenderness of God,” he wrote. “May the balm of mercy reach everyone, both believers and those far away, as a sign that the kingdom of God is already present in our midst.”
Nothing in the church’s preaching or witness, he said, can be lacking in mercy.
Pope Francis asked that every diocese in the world designate a “Door of Mercy” at their cathedral or another special church or shrine, and that every diocese implement the “24 Hours for the Lord” initiative on the Friday and Saturday before the fourth week of Lent. In Rome the last two years, the pope has opened the celebration with a penance service in St. Peter’s Basilica and churches around the city were open for the next 24 hours for confessions and eucharistic adoration.
The pope said he will designate and send out “Missionaries of Mercy” to preach about mercy; they will be given special authority, he said, “to pardon even those sins reserved to the Holy See.” Under church law, those sins involve: a man who directly participated in an abortion and later wants to enter the priesthood; priests who have broken the seal of confession; priests who have offered sacramental absolution to their own sexual partners; desecrating the Eucharist; and making an attempt on the life of the pope. Usually, the Apostolic Penitentiary, a Vatican court, handles those cases.
And he urged all Catholics to spend more time practicing what traditionally have been called the corporal and spiritual works of mercy. The corporal works are: Feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, clothing the naked, visiting the sick, visiting the imprisoned, giving drink to the thirsty and burying the dead. The spiritual works are: Converting sinners, instructing the ignorant, advising the doubtful, comforting the sorrowful, bearing wrongs patiently, forgiving injuries and praying for the living and dead.
Here is the Vatican’s translation of the prepared text of the pope’s brief homily this evening at first vespers for Divine Mercy Sunday:
Dear Brothers and Sisters,The greeting of the risen Christ to his disciples on the evening of Easter, “Peace be with you!” (Jn 20:19), continues to resound in us all. Peace, especially during this Easter season, remains the desire of so many people who suffer unprecedented violence of discrimination and death simply because they bear the name “Christian.” Our prayer is all the more intense and becomes a cry for help to the Father, who is rich in mercy, that he may sustain the faith of our many brothers and sisters who are in pain. At the same time, we ask for the grace of the conversion of our own hearts so as to move from indifference to compassion.St. Paul reminds us that we have been saved through the mystery of the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus. He is the reconciler, who is alive in our midst offering the way to reconciliation with God and with each other. The Apostle recalls that, notwithstanding the difficulties and the sufferings of life, the hope of salvation which Christ has sown in our hearts nonetheless continues to grow. The mercy of God is poured out upon us, making us just and giving us peace.Many question in their hearts: Why a Jubilee of Mercy today? Simply because the church, in this time of great historical change, is called to offer more evident signs of God’s presence and closeness. This is not the time to be distracted; on the contrary, we need to be vigilant and to reawaken in ourselves the capacity to see what is essential. This is a time for the church to rediscover the meaning of the mission entrusted to her by the Lord on the day of Easter: to be a sign and an instrument of the Father’s mercy (cf. Jn 20:21-23). For this reason, the Holy Year must keep alive the desire to know how to welcome the numerous signs of the tenderness which God offers to the whole world and, above all, to those who suffer, who are alone and abandoned, without hope of being pardoned or feeling the Father’s love. A Holy Year to experience strongly within ourselves the joy of having been found by Jesus, the Good Shepherd who has come in search of us because we were lost. A Jubilee to receive the warmth of his love when he bears us upon his shoulders and brings us back to the Father’s house. A year in which to be touched by the Lord Jesus and to be transformed by his mercy, so that we may become witnesses to mercy. Here, then, is the reason for the Jubilee: because this is the time for mercy. It is the favorable time to heal wounds, a time not to be weary of meeting all those who are waiting to see and to touch with their hands the signs of the closeness of God, a time to offer everyone the way of forgiveness and reconciliation.May the Mother of God open our eyes, so that we may comprehend the task to which we have been called; and may she obtain for us the grace to experience this Jubilee of Mercy as faithful and fruitful witnesses of Christ.
Resurrection life dwells—abides—in us. Rob Bell says that “Resurrection means God has not given up on the world because this world matters”:
This world of dirt and blood and sweat and skin and light and water. This world that God is redeeming and restoring and renewing. Greed and violence and abuse—they are not right—and they cannot last. They belong to death and death does not belong.Jesus expects us to have faith amid the darkness. As Christ pulled the hand of Thomas toward his sacred, transfigured wounds, he said to him “Put your finger here, and look at my hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don’t be faithless any longer. But believe!”
Resurrection says that what we do with our lives matters…in this body the one that we inhabit right now. Every act of compassion matters. Every work of art that celebrates the good and the true matters. Every fair and honest act of business and trade. Every kind word. They all belong and they will all go on in God’s good world. Nothing will be forgotten. Nothing will be wasted.
“My Lord and my God!” Thomas exclaimed. Then Jesus tells him, “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.”
John Updike, a contemporary American writer, was one of those who, like us, never saw the resurrected Christ for himself and yet he believed.
In 1960, as a young man, he entered a poetry contest at a Methodist church in Massachusetts. He won the prize: $100. And he gave the money back to the church, but the real miracle is the poem itself, “Seven Stanzas at Easter”:
Make no mistake: if He rose at allNow that’s a description of Easter. It’s material and it’s supernatural all at once.
it was as His body;
if the cells’ dissolution did not reverse, the molecules
reknit, the amino acids rekindle,
the Church will fall.
It was not as the flowers,
each soft Spring recurrent;
it was not as His Spirit in the mouths and fuddled
eyes of the eleven apostles;
it was as His flesh: ours.
The same hinged thumbs and toes,
the same valved heart
that–pierced–died, withered, paused, and then
regathered out of enduring Might
new strength to enclose.
Let us not mock God with metaphor,
analogy, sidestepping, transcendence;
making of the event a parable, a sign painted in the
faded credulity of earlier ages:
let us walk through the door.
The stone is rolled back, not papier-mâché,
not a stone in a story,
but the vast rock of materiality that in the slow
grinding of time will eclipse for each of us
the wide light of day.
And if we will have an angel at the tomb,
make it a real angel,
weighty with Max Planck’s quanta, vivid with hair,
opaque in the dawn light, robed in real linen
spun on a definite loom.
Let us not seek to make it less monstrous,
for our own convenience, our own sense of beauty,
lest, awakened in one unthinkable hour, we are
embarrassed by the miracle,
and crushed by remonstrance.
And so, with Updike and with the Magdalene, through tears—even as we suffer and rejoice and believe and expect a miracle in this space between Holy Saturday and Easter—we find ourselves once again on the road to Bethany and, with Martha, we encounter Jesus, and we hear the words of the Teacher:
“I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die. Do you believe this?”
Read more: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/imagochristi/2015/04/keeping-it-real-an-easter-sermon/#ixzz3X0bK8kMq
Thursday, April 9, 2015
I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him. John 14:18-21, NIV
Lord our God, dear Father in heaven, we are gathered in your presence through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Reveal to us our Savior Jesus Christ. May the Savior be revealed to us; otherwise in our need we will never come through. Grant that at this late hour for the world we may see him as he is, and through him and through the kingdom that he brings we may be lifted above the troubles of our time. Strengthen our hearts every day, and fill us with joy because you guide everything on earth as in heaven; in the end you will give us the victory that belongs to the kingdom you have founded. May we be comforted through all eternity in this kingdom, a kingdom far greater and more glorious than all the kingdoms of the world. Amen.